10 Questions About Disabilities & Ableism


Sometime back there was a post about dating people with disabilities. I noticed that a lot of people automatically jumped to the “worst” disability that they could think of in their replies (such as paralysis, CP, DS) , and many people seemed to first think about if they could “take care” of these people to the best of their ability as one of their first thoughts, even though a lot of common disabilities such as dyslexia do not require a caretaker. I was relieved to see many replies saying that it simply depended on the disability, but it didn’t erase the stereotypes I noticed as well.

As someone who is disabled and requires no care from others nor does anyone actually know that I am disabled until I tell them (and I know plenty of people like me) I’d like to get the most honest answers you can give me on any of the following questions, regardless of if you participated in that post or changed your opinion since then or not.

Btw, don’t take it as a personal insult if you did and said any of the above on that post— I don’t remember any of the actual commenters on that post, only what the majority said, and I appreciated seeing all comments anyway as it opened my eyes to how others thought of it, even if I disagreed personally.

If you are disabled yourself I would love to have you participate as well with your own experiences or thoughts on stereotypes/ableism and disabilities.

You can pick as little or as many questions from the following to focus on in your answer.

1. When someone online says that they have a disability, is there a certain disability or thought (like pity) that comes into your mind since you don’t know anything about them otherwise?

2. Have you ever known anyone with a disability? If so, did you feel a certain way about them? (Pity, admiration, frustration, etc)

3. Do you automatically assume that someone who says they have a disability must have or need a caretaker?

4. Name the 5 disabilities that you first think of when you think of someone having a disability.

5. Do you more commonly think of disabilities as physically or mentally related? (If someone online says they are disabled, are you automatically thinking of something physical like paralysis vs something mental like dyslexia?)

6. Do you think people with disabilities are looked over when it comes to intersectionality?

7. Have you ever been ableist? (Do you know what ableism is?)

8. What do you think of news outlets doing stories on popular kids taking the kids with disabilities to prom/homecoming/etc?

9. Do you assume that people with disabilities are less intelligent than people who don’t have them?

10. When you think of ableist slurs, what words do you usually think of? (You can censor out parts) Do you know that things you might commonly hear like “wow they’re tone-deaf/deaf-mute” can actually be considered very ableist in the Deaf community due to their history in asylums and abuse?